For class this week, I read “Perceived usability evaluation of Microsoft Teams as an online learning platform during COVID-19 using system usability scale and technology acceptance model in India” by Pal et al.
For my internship, we utilized Microsoft Teams, so I’m pretty familiar with this platform and it’s pros and cons. I personally found it user friendly, as you can see everything from your instant messages, email, calendar, and meetings all in one place. However, it also is unreliable as there were always technical issues on Teams. These issues became a part of our day, something we kind of put up with.
In the article however, something that jumped out at me was that 86% of students in India utilized Microsoft Teams from their phone for school during the pandemic. This definitely is an issue, as it would be very challenging to remain engaged on your phone. I’m also familiar with the Teams app, and it is good for on the go but is not sufficient for anything more than sending a quick message in my opinion. I can’t imagine this is a very effective way to learn.
Additionally, the article discussed 2 different usability scales, SUS and TAM. Personally, I’m apprehensive about either of their efficacy, as they seem subjective to me. According to the article, their results often do not align with each other. “Therefore, despite having similar objectives of measuring the usability, the two approaches are totally disjoint, and to the best of our knowledge there seems to be no relationship existing between these two approaches.”
This tells me that both scales are too subjective to be scientifically valid. Usability itself is very subjective. Surveys/focus groups might be more effective for determining what changes need to be made to platforms as opposed to these scales.